Vegan Family Holidays – Make Them Happy Holidays!

by Dr. Graham

Published: Wed, 26 Nov 2014

Enjoy the holidays and these words of wisdom from Dr. Graham in this message about navigating the holidays and social events for everyone's enjoyment and health.


Hi, Dr. Doug Graham here, author of the 80/10/10 Diet. I want to talk to you about Thanksgiving and all of the festivals, holy days, holidays that are coming up in the soon to be autumn and winter months and how to deal with those situations in a way that is not going to leave you basically losing a fight. Anybody who gets into a fight loses a fight. When you have a fight with a loved one, it's a loss, so we don't want to have arguments, we don't want to have fights, we don't want to have stresses when we're trying to get together for a holiday no less. It's a good time.

When I see Thanksgiving and when I go to Thanksgiving holidays I always make a point to spend time with each and every person at the event. I want to go up and talk to them. I want to ask about them. I want to know what's really going well in their life and if there's any way that I can help them. Are there things I can do that will make their life better? I want to express my interest in them and I want to be sincere about it. I'm not just faking it or going through the motions. I really do care about the people. Do I care about what they eat? Sure I care, because I care about them, but I'm not going to harp on what they eat. I'm going to eat what I eat. I'm going to set my example. I'm going to be a leader and I'm going to realize that they look to me as somebody who knows about health. When we get together at a holiday this is not the time for me to be making exceptions and letting things really slide. If they see me having something that I wouldn't normally eat but I go "Oh, it's a holiday, once a year, it doesn't matter," they're going to look at it and say "Oh, the health expert eats that food. I could eat it everyday." I realize how critically important those few family gatherings can really be as far as setting the example so that other people can see what a leader does and how a healthy person eats. But I want to express my reason to each one of them for being there, which is to spend time with them, to give thanks that we can be together, and that we can each get to eat whatever we want to eat, and then leave it at that. I don't want to be the one who's putting pressure on them, putting guilt on them, starting anxiety attacks with them, making little nuances with my conversation about the carcasses on the table and the dead burnt bodies.

They don't need to go there. They're going to feel what they're going to feel. They're smart enough to see what you see. You didn't come around instantaneously. You didn't get this message 8,000 years ago, so let them come around in their own sweet time. You don't even need to drop a hint. Your example is good enough. Make an example that shows that you're super happy about the way you're living your life rather than that you're experiencing some tension and you want to put it on them. Let them see it and decide that you're having such a good time that maybe they want to try your way, and let it come from them. This is Dr. Doug Graham reminding you to go to health.